WASHINGTON— National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that he has not listened to an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder because he doesn’t speak Arabic.
“You want me to listen to it? What am I going to learn from [it]?” Bolton asked reporters in the White House briefing room. “If they were speaking Korean, I wouldn’t learn any more from it either.”
Bolton said that while he has not personally heard the recordings, interpreters have provided the U.S. with a translation of the audio.
“I’m very satisfied that we know what the tape picked up and it was factored into the president’s decision,” Bolton said.
Earlier this month the Turkish government provided the U.S. government with audio of Khashoggi being murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
In a statement last week, President Donald Trump said that effectively promised that the Saudi government will not face consequences for the journalist’s death, citing their close relationship with the U.S.
Trump also brushed off potential involvement from Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the CIA has reportedly concluded ordered the killing.
“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the U.S. intelligence community did not provide the White House with definitive proof of the Arab leader’s involvement.